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David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
Dark Canyon: Allen route on 09/29/2013 23:19:39 MDT Print View

Anyone done Steve Allen's Dark Canyon loop, specifically the traverse from lower Dark to Midway Canyon? Might be on the docket for late this Oct if weather/conditions cooperate.

Brendan Swihart
(brendans) - F - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: Dark Canyon: Allen route on 09/30/2013 22:38:05 MDT Print View

I haven't done the whole thing but I've been in the area a few times and I think there's probably better loops in the area. I don't know if you've been in Dark but the best stuff is between Youngs and the river and Youngs itself, so doing his option one is a must imo. I've also heard the upper part of Bowdie has turned into quite the thrash since the book was published, although this month's floods might have remedied some of that (the dirty devil got up to 10,000(!) cfs a couple weeks ago). Lower Bowdie and lower Gypsum are reportedly excellent. The Midway and river section does sound pretty awesome.

I'm actually planning on doing some kind of Gypsum Bowdie area loop with some floating next week so maybe I can give you some more info then.

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: Dark Canyon area on 10/01/2013 08:08:11 MDT Print View

The idea we're kicking around is to do the Allen route by the book through the traverse into and then exit from Midway, then road/plateau walk to Youngs, skipping Bowdie.

Many moons ago a friend and I drove into Beef Basin and descended Gypsum to below the short technical slot, then back up. The slot was cool, though disappointingly short. The brush bashing in the bottom of the upper canyon was impressively horrid.

Brendan Swihart
(brendans) - F - MLife

Locale: Fruita CO
Re: re: Dark Canyon area on 10/01/2013 21:18:34 MDT Print View

That sounds like a good loop. Looking forward to hearing how it goes.

I'd love to join you for a trip or at least a beer when you're down in these parts sometime. I'll be out of the country for most of October but we'll have to make it happen sometime.

Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Dark Canyon on 10/15/2013 20:23:22 MDT Print View

We did Allen's Dark Canyon route (with a few additional pieces we added on) a number of years ago. We had a fine trip and enjoyed the route a lot. Allen's info in his book was bang on in terms of both navigation and the general sense of the place. If you have specific questions, perhaps we can help.

Just as a thought, late October is probably pushing it a bit on the weather front unless you are comfortable with cold nights and short days.

Amy and James

Jon Leibowitz
(jleeb) - F - MLife

Locale: 4Corners
weather on 10/20/2013 18:19:47 MDT Print View

I can't speak for that specific route, but I just got back from Dark Canyon about 2 hours ago (Sundance Trail). The weather was phenomenal and incredibly, the cottonwoods are still about 2 weeks from peak foliage colors. I'll be posting a trip report sometime soon.